Weekly GOP Address: Fixing the #ObamaFlightDelays

John Boehner

In this week’s Republican address, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) says the Obama administration’s plan to gain leverage for more tax increases by imposing flight delays failed in the face of a public outcry and pressure from Congress.  Shuster thanks fed-up travelers and taxpayers for making their voices heard, saying, “Again we’ve seen that when the people speak out, government has an obligation to listen.”

Here are some highlights from early coverage of the address, which you can now read, listen to, watch, and download:

GOP: Administration wanted to inflict pain with flight delays.  The Republican chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Saturday accused the Obama administration of purposefully wanting to inflict pain on the public through flight delays. … Shuster applauded the public for putting pressure on the White House to accept a legislative fix to the flight delays. … ‘The pressure worked, and again we’ve seen that when the people speak out, government has an obligation to listen,’ Shuster said.” (The Hill, 4/26/13)

White House, GOP spar after FAA reprieve.  … Rep. Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, agreed in the GOP weekly address that the automatic spending cuts needed to be replaced.  But he said the delays caused by the FAA staffing shortages were an unnecessary – and politically motivated – move to force Congress into agreeing to higher taxes.  The agency could have found other ways to cut its budget aside from staffing reductions, he said.  ‘They could have taken into account air traffic patterns, and made sure controllers would be in place where they were most needed,’ Shuster argued. ‘Or they could have reached out to Congress and the airlines to have a plan in place ahead of time.’”  (CNN, 4/26/13)

Obama and GOP Spar Over Direction of Cuts.  … Republicans responded by accusing the president of deliberately provoking a crisis for political purposes. … In the Republican response, Representative Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, chairman of the House transportation committee, asked why the controllers were furloughed.  ‘Because,’ he said, ‘there are some in the Obama administration who thought inflicting pain on the public would give the president more leverage to avoid making necessary spending cuts and to impose more tax hikes on the American people.’ … Mr. Shuster said the Obama administration always had enough flexibility to avert the airport bottlenecks of the last week.” (The New York Times, 4/26/13)

“Republicans have rejected Obama’s proposal to replace the spending reductions with a mix of spending cuts and tax increases.  ‘There are some in the Obama administration who thought inflicting pain on the public would give the president more leverage to avoid making necessary spending cuts, and to impose more tax hikes on the American people,’ said Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania in the Republican address.  … Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the FAA could have averted the flight delays on its own by cutting costs elsewhere and rejiggering work schedules, but chose not to do so.” (Associated Press, 4/26/13)

“In the Republican address Saturday, Representative Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania argued that the Federal Aviation Administration could have averted flight delays by cutting costs elsewhere and changing work schedules, but intentionally chose not to. He also said some in the White House ‘thought inflicting pain on the public’ would give the president leverage to avoid making spending cuts and to impose tax hikes on Americans.” (VOA News, 4/26/13)

“Rep. Bill Shuster, delivering the GOP’s weekly media address, said the layoffs were caused by ‘bad policy’ – across the board budget cuts from sequestration… Charging such a practice was ‘the wrong way to reduce the deficit,’ the Pennsylvania Republican noted that Congress approved a temporary solution to the flight delays on Friday, restructuring $600 million in FAA cuts… The solution shouldn’t have taken so long, he said. … He said sequestration needed to be replaced with ‘smarter, more responsible cuts.’” (UPI, 4/26/13)

“The Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Bill Shuster, discusses in this week’s Republican address the House’s efforts to ease flight delays for Americans due to staffing furloughs as a result of sequester cuts. … Shuster says that instead of making cuts elsewhere, the FAA imposed ‘blanket across-the-board furloughs’ that caused the extensive delays.  ‘This episode is yet another demonstration of why we need to replace the president’s sequester with smarter, more responsible cuts,’ Shuster says, criticizing President Obama’s handling of the deficit.  ‘The American people deserve better, and leaders in Washington have an obligation to respect your time and money.’” (ABC News Radio, 4/26/13)

“Blaming the week’s flight delays on ‘the way in which the Obama administration chose to implement the president’s automatic sequestration cuts,’ Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said, ‘From the get-go, the Federal Aviation Administration could have acted on its own to responsibly implement the president’s sequester without inflicting this kind of pain on the public.” (CBS News, 4/26/13)

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